Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Disney's strategy for MyMagic+

Disney's plans for the new MyMagic+ program are somewhat revealed in a patent application recently published by the Patent Office.  There is typically an 18 month lag time between the application and its public release. This article by Jack Burgin in Dis News (wdwinfo.com) talks in depth about Disney's apparent strategy.
The patent application provides a few more hints about Disney’s long-term thinking for MyMagic+, at least its thinking as of July 2011.  The application explains that MyMagic+ will be receiving “information from a guest, determining a guest strategy based on the information received from the guest, and generating a schedule for the guest visit based on the guest strategy. The schedule for the guest visit may include attendance at one or more experience areas.”  (“Experience area” means theme park, a resort hotel, golf course or spa.)
Before arriving at the theme park, the guest could “select the desired experiences areas and/or resort areas, as well as desired experiences for visits for visits on one day, or over multiple days.” The system would generate a schedule for experiences based on the input from the guest and various applicable “business rules” (more on this below).  The schedule is designed to sequence the experiences in a manner to optimize the guest’s route through the theme park.  Alternatively, the application contemplates guests creating “wish lists” of attractions and the system will generate one or more schedules.
The schedule can include appointments, which includes flexible return window appointments, or passes for the guest for each selected attraction for a time period or window of time. By having the schedule ahead of time, this avoids, Disney optimistically believes, guests “having to rush to an attraction to obtain one appointment or pass for a later time” while “minimizing the waiting time at each attraction and allowing the guest to take more time and enjoy the surrounding events, sights, shops, etc. as the guest follows the route.”
The article points out that the patent application does not mean that Disney is definitely going to do everything described.  It does give an interesting view into Disney's thinking behind the MyMagic+ program, which seems to be aimed at the one-time visitor who wants their park time pre-planned.  As the responses to the blog post point out, having your time at the parks on a schedule isn't going to help long lines.  This is mainly because there are a limited number of attractions and Disney is trying hard to get as many people into the parks as possible.  Having thousands of people on a schedule isn't likely to reduce the lines. 

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